Saturday, November 29, 2014

Homebrew channel now operational

I had the roms for a long while, but now I have all the emulators.  I ran these SNES and GENESIS emulators on Playstation 2 ten years ago and Playstation Portable eight years ago.  Wii now plays my V64 roms.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Jamie Bisch

I never had the chance of succeeding in the most popular Internet celebrity in my class. One commanded Century College's HR department and the other coached a NCAA Basketball team. Jamie Bisch and Meghan Hahella have Masters degrees. My high school class doesn't want me to exist right now. There was too many people with an IQ of 120-130 trying to erase me from existence in my high school class. It didn't work, but it almost did.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bankrupt videogame companies

In many ways, the video gaming industry has never looked more promising: smartphones and tablets have massively expanded the addressable market; wearables (including virtual and augmented reality devices) are enabling new interaction models and experiences; and user generated content allows studios to add depth and re-playability at little-to-no cost. In 2013, the industry generated more than $65 billion in revenue – representing a nearly 30% increase in only 5 years and totaling 82% more than the global box office and 3.2 times the size of the recorded music industry. Despite this, brand-name studios – including some of the most celebrated and commercially successful ones – continue to hemorrhage or shut down entirely.
Mobile is only a part of the reason why. Over the past decade, the video game industry has been fundamentally upended:
Led by the Nintendo Wii, the seventh generation of video gaming was the first to really achieve mass market adoption. As the console base proliferated, the industry benefited from a nearly 350% increase in annual unit sales – from under 150M in 2006 to 630M only four years later. Yet, this trend abruptly reversed itself in 2010 – and industry volumes have since fallen to fewer than 460M units. Over this same period, we’ve seen an even greater reduction in industry output: 48% fewer (non-mobile) games were released in 2012 than in 2008 (accurate estimates for 2013 could not be sourced). See-sawing demand and competition typically challenges industry economics, but in fact, these trends have provided the industry with a shockingly consistent increase in average unit sales per game:
In theory, this should have driven industry stability – but over this same period,
studios have had to contend with exponential increases in ‘tablestake’ investment costs. In the early 1990s, game development required only a handful of programmers, designers and artists. However, the sophistication of modern gaming engines and ever-rising graphical standards have driven this figure into the hundreds. Some blockbusters, such as Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed IV, have even exceeded 1,000 (with each team member having a total annual cost of roughly $100,000). Once-modest marketing expenditures have also grown to rival those of major motion pictures. All in, 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V is believed to cost nearly $265M – placing payback sales volume at roughly 10M units (25x average sale volumes). Though GTAV is an outlier, few studios can still afford to develop 2-3 ‘average’ blockbuster titles per year – and a single failure can be ruinous. Furthermore, these titles still need to compete against the likes of Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto for finite consumer spend.
The normal recourse for this cost creep is raising prices, which remain largely unchanged from the early 90s. In fact, prices have actually eroded by 38% over the past twenty years after accounting for inflation. As a result, today’s studios feel pressure on both the top and bottom lines. Increased sales per game have helped, but they’re insufficient in and of themselves. With this in mind, it shouldn’t be shocking that there has been such dramatic reduction in the number of market participants. But the gaming industry has not just more financial precarious, it has also become more complex.
Over the past five years, the traditional gaming categories, PCs and consoles, have shrunk by nearly $1.5B. During this same time, online and mobile have both doubled, generating an additional $12B and $5B in revenue per year. While mobile has primarily cannibalized time and spend from traditional gaming forms, online has had the most profound impact on veteran gaming studios. Like motion pictures, video games have evolved from a product to a recurring service:
While games used to follow the standard media product lifecycle, they’ve transitioned to a new model where the goal is to drive (and monetize) ongoing usage. Activision Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, which generates revenue through online monthly subscriptions (and soon in-game transactions too), did not reach its peak quarterly user base for nearly five years – at which point quarterly recurring revenue had increased 1,400% over its Q4 2004 release. Though this growth was supported by sequel-esque expansion packs (in Q1 2007 and Q4 2008), the franchise’s ‘Entertainment as a Service’ value is proved through its ability to both sustain and grow paying subscribers in the 26 and 22 months paid months in between releases.
The success of WoW and other EaaS games (not all of which are MMORPGs) explains many of the aforementioned trends:
  • By increasing the amount of time the average player plays per game purchase, total industry unit sales are likely to drop
  • The focus on developing and establishing blockbusters (which require far more depth than an average 15 hour game) drives studios to reduce the number of games they produce and increases development costs per game
  • To meet lofty payback targets, publishers amp up initial marketing costs
  • To sustain user engagement, marketing and promotion expenses (tournaments, advertising, developer programs etc.) long after a game’s initial release
What’s more, studios need a far greater skillset than ever before:
Until recently, game production was straightforward: a studio would design, build, test and perfect a game – there was a “ship and forget” mentality, to use industry terminology. Unfortunately for many, the Entertainment as a Service world is far more complex: Studios/publishers must manage customer relations, foster user generated content and experiences, design and oversee complex in-game economies (which may generate up to 100% of the game’s revenue), provide ongoing patches and bug support and so on. Even the classic skillset of game development is strained: Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet has pursued a 2 week content release cycle in order to drive user engagement. Whether the game is even getting paid for these “services” depends on the game; many users expect it for free after paying for $60 of content. As a result, many games have team supporting for at least a couple months after release. In addition, games that were unable to achieve the necessary user scale are often made free-to-play in hopes of increasing engagement and in-game commerce – further challenging industry economics.
There simply aren’t many studios with the skillset, IP and balance sheet to compete in this new market. As a result, we’ve seen a dramatic thinning of the “middle layer” of studios. The largest studios (such as EA, Bungie, Rockstar) will continue to survive, as will niche developers and lean mobile shops. However, we’re likely to see mid-market players continue to exit (which will drive further reductions in industry output).
For all its promise, non-mobile game developers face a harsher reality than ever before. Though consolidation will drive back office synergies and some increased talent utilization, it will not resolve the aforementioned issues. Premier developers, such as Activision or Rockstar, would no doubt love to increase prices. Yet, this would inevitably initiate price-based competition in an industry already moving to free-to-play models in order to maximize the total userbase.
To survive, studios need to acknowledge the reality that content creation, curation and consumption is being democratized. For many executives in the media & entertainment industry, this concept is anathema; they believe that their veteran experience and instinct can pick ‘winning’ game concepts and turn them into blockbusters. Even if and when this is true, the final game will fall short of its potential if it remains tightly controlled. To quote Gabe Newell, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Valve: “Games are essentially going to be nodes in a connected economy where the vast majority of digital goods & services are user created vs. created by companies… Our users have already outstripped us spectacularly… They’re an order of magnitude more productive.” How can a studio fight back spiraling development, marketing and support costs? It doesn’t. It outsources them to users.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

high school plagiarism

I caught my high school class copying my ideas and alienating me.  They steal my Linux, my videogames bragging right ideas and they still alienate me. The town I was located in St. Croix County says it all, but for some crazy reason it has no law binding affect to that local high school class (which is supposed to know me, but pretends not too)

Generation Z plays with ADHD medications to screw Generation Y over

Most of us have a terrible time focusing on our work. Left uninterrupted, we are likely to interrupt ourselves. The Internet, everyone's interrupter of choice, is the most tantalizing type of reward system to our brain: intermittent but unpredictable rewards, in the form of a randomly great video or a juicy email here or there. (This is also why kids love to whine to get what they want. Parents give in only when they are at their wit's end, creating, from a child's perspective, a similar, randomly yummy reward system.) Each time we interrupt ourselves at work, the process to get us back to that point of focus takes twenty-five minutes. So we spend nearly a third of our work day recovering from interruptions, trying to recover our focus. The time management gurus are all over this problem. Winifred Gallagher is the author of Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life. The thesis of the book is that the ability to positively wield your attention is the key to your quality of life. Gallagher says (in either her book or in the article that I am liberally quoting from — I'm not sure which, but I am distracted enough by the issue that I feel compelled to distract you as well) “You can't be happy all the time but you can pretty much focus all the time. That's about as good as it gets.” That sounds true to me. We each have a certain amount of attention, and our quality of life depends on how wisely we invest our attention. I have written about how self-discipline is the key to happiness. And then I have written about how knowing that has not helped me much because self-discipline is not an easy nut to crack. Now I am wondering if attentiveness is the way to achieve self-discipline. You find your goal—the stuff that is really super important—and you focus on it. That focus creates enough self-discipline to do what you need to achieve the goal. But that isn't just my idea. There are others thinking the same thing. Merlin Mann has one of the most popular productivity blogs, and he's raking in money teaching executives (who surely are too focused to have time to read blogs) to be more productive in their workday. Merlin Mann says that the key to productivity is attention, not lifehacks. Here's a gem from Mann's interview with Anderson in New York magazine: “On the web there's a certain kind of encouragement to never ask yourself how much information you really need. But when I get to the point where I'm seeking advice twelve hours a day on how to take a nap or what kind of notebook to buy, I'm so far off the idea of lifehacks that it's indistinguishable from where we started. There's very little advice right now to tell people that the only thing to do is action, and everything else is horseshit.” Okay. So notice this about focus: You are not actually able to be productive without focus. So we can stop looking for the ultimate moleskin notebook or the perfect Firefox extension because those are actually productivity distractions. The hardest thing about productivity is figuring out what is the number one thing on your to do list. After that, you need to focus on doing that one thing. Mann says, “There's no shell script, there's no fancy pen, there's no notebook or nap or Firefox extension or hack that's gonna help you figure out why the fuck you're here.” Maybe what you need instead is Adderall. Officially, Adderall is prescribed to treat ADHD. Unofficially, it is the drug of choice for Gen Y. Adderall, or other drugs that treat ADHD, give a typical brain an intense ability to focus for long periods of time. I got most of my Adderall information from a great article in the New Yorker by Margaret Talbot titled Brain Gain: The underground world of neuroenhancing drugs. In it, Sean Esteban McCabe, from the University of Michigan's Substance Abuse Research Center says that at some universities, up to 20% of the population is using these drugs: “White male undergraduates at highly competitive schools—especially in the Northeast—are the most frequent collegiate users of neuro-enhancers.” Anjan Chatterjee, a neurologist at the University of Pennsylvania , coined the term “cosmetic neurology” to describe the trend of taking drugs to enhance ordinary cognition. He says, “Many sectors of society have winner-take-all conditions in which small advantages produce disproportionate rewards.” That resonates with me. I have already decided that cosmetic surgery is a must-have career tool for the high performers. So why not consider cosmetic neurology as well? Joshua Foer wrote about his own Adderall experiment in Slate, and it sounds glorious: “The part of my brain that makes me curious about whether I have new emails in my in box apparently shut down.” So I decided that maybe I should give the Adderall a whirl. But then I started getting worried. Because I read research from Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse that shows Adderall is addictive. Not addictive like crystal meth. But addictive like, if you have a proclivity to addictive behaviors, you are a sitting duck for this one. “Because drugs that increase dopamine have the potential for abuse, these results suggest that risk for addiction in vulnerable persons merits heightened awareness.” That scared me. But what really scared me is that the cost of gaining extreme focus is often losing extreme creativity. A good example is Paul Philips, a professional poker player who won more than a million dollars after taking Adderall to help him. The scary thing about the Philips example is that Adderall also helped him resist the impulse to keep playing losing hands out of boredom. I think we have some of our most creative moments when we are doing odd stuff to quell boredom. That is, when we are not focused at all. “Cognitive psychologists have found that there is a trade-off between attentional focus and creativity,” says Martha Farah, director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. “There is evidence that individuals who are better able to focus on one thing and filter out distractions tend to be less creative.” Maybe it's better just to do lots of things at once without great focus but with natural creativity. Focusing on focus seems to distract from the real issue, which is knowing what you value most. Do we know that? And if we did know that, maybe our focus would come naturally from that. And our lack of time management comes from a lack of self-discipline which comes from a lack of focus which comes from a lack of knowing the meaning of life. And we'll never know that. So maybe we should just be happy that we have our lack of focus because that enables our creativity. And we don't know the meaning of life, but we do know that we each get to create our own life, and that, in the end, may be the only guarantee we have.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Governor Debate

Be sure to vote for Walker. Abortion laws would bother me. I'm around these gays in minnesota. Why would I get a girlfriend if it had to end up in abortion anyway? I rather own a dog, its cheaper. I agree with my NRA friends about the 2nd amendment rights.

Monday, November 03, 2014

bought 3DS XL

I had the regular 3DS since 2011 and I played New Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario and Luigi - Dream Team, Luigi's Mansion 2,  and Mario Kart 7 on it.  I also upgraded to GBA SP ten years ago.  My GBA graduated high school with me. In high school, I played Mario Kart Super Circuit, followed by Castlevania Circle of the Moon, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance and Super Mario Bros. 2.  Then I didn't upgrade the DS to DS XL, because I had to purchase PSP, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii.  I played each of those consoles for at least 15 hours each.  I added Bravely Default to my collection due to the ranking on gamerankings.

If you like your portable gaming three-dimensional, clam-shelled and big, then Nintendo's 3DS XL fulfills those broad, unconventional requirements. It's a design refresh that more closely references both previous generations of DS hardware (and the incoming Wii U) -- all while touting a substantially bigger, 3D-capable, parallax-barrier screen. Aside from a larger battery, the XL's internals rehash what we first saw over a year ago: the controls remain the same, with no addition of a (mildly) hardcore gamer-courting second analog stick. For what it's worth, the device does arrive with a 4GB SD card in-box (up from 2GB in the original), matching the approximate doubling in physical dimensions. 18 months is a long time in gaming, especially these days, and although 3DS sales have recently rallied against Sony's latest, we reckon the 3DS XL has double the appeal of its forebear. We'll explain why right after the break.


    Bigger screen improves the 3D effect significantly
    Improved battery life under some conditions
    More comfortable to hold and use


    Digital content still lacking
    No secondary analog stick
    Not the most powerful of handheld hardware


If you've been holding off from buying a 3DS, the improvements to the screens and battery are enough to warrant a purchase, but some issues still remain.


It's a huge relief to see Nintendo return to the cleaner, tidier lines of the DS Lite and DSi. Gone are the awkward tri-colored gloss and the angular, bizarre shape of the 3DS. Instead, it's now a simple, softly curved oblong, which looks more mature and considered. Closed, the 3DS XL's matte finish wraps around both halves -- and unintentionally reminds us of Sony's Tablet P. Fortunately, the casing is far more solid than that Android tablet, and feels much slimmer. In fact the device's thickness feels (and measures) roughly equal to the 3DS, despite the explosion in screen size, improved battery life and a 46 percent weight increase to 336g (11.85 ounces).

While gamers with smaller paws may not agree, the 3DS XL feels more at home in-hand than the 3DS -- not to mention, it looks a good deal classier than what came before. Thanks to those rounded corners, the device doesn't dig into your palms like its slightly squarish predecessor. The circle pad is still supremely comfortable, just the right side of tactile, while the faithful Nintendo button medley and D-pad still do the trick.

    We don't understand why they couldn't have embedded another analog stick into the 3DS XL -- certainly, it's not for lack of space

Even more than what's changed, it's what's still missing that baffles us. Given that the 3DS has been furnished with a secondary analog stick through a slightly unwieldy peripheral, we don't understand why they couldn't have embedded one into the 3DS XL -- certainly, it's not for lack of space. Our review sample arrived with Resident Evil: Revelations in the slot -- a game that's not very forgiving without that second stick. It's also worth adding that while the plastic stylus on the bigger hardware remains functional enough, we miss the classy, extendable chrome pen that arrived in the original 3DS. The collar buttons are just as responsive as Nintendo's preceding handhelds. And if you weren't a fan of the cheap-looking button trio underneath the secondary screen, you'll be glad to hear that the odd bar has been replaced by three more standard-looking -- and feeling -- buttons. The SD slot has been repositioned to the right edge, meaning that Nintendo's sticking with standard removable storage. There's also now a horizontal cubby for the aforementioned stylus, referencing the DS Lite and DSi of gaming past.

DNP Nintendo 3DS XL review Bigger is better, but it's still not quite enough

Bigger is better. Maybe it's our review-jaded eyes, but the larger, 4.8-inch screen (just shy of the width of the PlayStation Vita, although slightly taller) seems to make the 3D effect less taxing, not to mention more immersive. The similarly expanded secondary screen also offers more real estate for touch-heavy titles. The pair of screens, however, still looks a little incongruous, each boasting different sizes and dimensions. While matching the humble resolutions found on the original, we found the screens both had comparable (if average) viewing angles. The main screen may be 1.8 times larger, but it packs the same 800 x 240 resolution of last year's model -- now spread a little thinner, with the more typical 'flat' 320 × 240 display also unchanged on the secondary.

    Even if the 3DS XL doesn't win on crispness, however, Sony's onyx wonder can't (and never will) output 3D content

Purely number-wise, it doesn't sound impressive to anyone spoiled by Retina displays and the like. The screens on the original weren't the sharpest back then, but the jagged edges on fonts and detail is noticeably more pronounced on the bigger model. It goes without saying that the Vita's screen is a stronger performer, both visually and technically (being capacitive and all). We presume this is why Nintendo imposed filming and photography restrictions on its reviews for the 3DS XL, even though pixel math dictates that the bigger screen won't look so hot close-up. Even if the 3DS XL doesn't win on crispness, however, Sony's onyx wonder can't -- and never will -- output 3D content.


So apart from size, the hardware hasn't changed that much. The same can be said for the software, but it's a good chance to see how Nintendo's embraced online content and gaming in the midst of strong smartphone contenders. Since launching last March, Nintendo's baked-in software, including eShop, Spot Pass, Mii Plaza and online functions, have had time to grow and it's particularly noticeable when it comes time to interact with other users. During the first few months of use, you weren't going to pick up many Mii visitors -- not unless you were hanging around gaming writers, tech bloggers and importers, anyway.

Now, whether we flit across the country by train or park somewhere in center city, we pick up new Miis -- and accessories -- in the process. Admittedly, the games that tie into this social component really aren't worth your time, but the simple process of connecting with other users -- and being notified of it -- still makes us smile. The uncomplicated approach makes online gaming a cinch. With access to WiFi, we could connect in-game with a single option selection and would soon be battling strangers with far greater skills than we could ever muster. The friend PIN system also allows you to connect with real-life competitors.

The augmented reality games are still baked into Nintendo's newest portable, although they haven't moved on in any way. If you've played with them on the original, you're getting the same deal again here. The Nintendo eShop has expanded its offerings since we last opened our online wallets for the 3DS launch, with its wares separated out for ease of navigation. "In Stores" houses demos of incoming 3DS titles, and is presumably where the full-length games will be housed in the near future. Next is the Virtual Console, wrapping up NES, GameBoy, GameBoy Color and (gasp) Game Gear titles for anyone over 20 to replay again. It's joined by software and mini-game channels and a recommended videos collection. Unfortunately, the likes of Netflix and Hulu weren't available on our review model here in the UK and overall it's still not as good as it could be. While it does give taste of how content will be sold through Nintendo in the future, we'd like those to be available now, not in another two months.
Battery life

Nintendo reckons you'll see around three to six and a half hours of gameplay from 3DS titles, and between five and eight for simpler DS games. In our experience, we managed an average of four hours of playtime in full-fat gamer mode, with the 3D switch and brightness cranked up to maximum, WiFi connected and around two hours of online play folded into our test. As even Nintendo forewarns on the console, how the 3DS XL is used has a huge impact on total runtime. Switch off the 3D mode, dabble with older DS titles and retro hits, and you'll see a substantial improvement in battery life. We did just that, also switching on battery saver mode and dropping brightness down to the middle setting, and got closer to nine hours of playtime -- it's a substantial improvement but obviously means limiting your gamer habits to some extent.

Nintendo's explanation for the lack of an AC adapter in both European and (some) Asian countries is that most buyers will be coming from older hardware -- naturally. Thus, buried in the settings menu, is the option to transfer your content -- like your digital purchases -- across from original 3DS consoles and the DSi. You'll need both devices and an SD card to get it done, and it feels like an exercise in frustration compared to the effortless systems in place for other gaming challengers like Google Play, which allows you to house your purchases on multiple devices without so much hassle.

DNP Nintendo 3DS XL review Bigger is better, but it's still not quite enough

After playing with the 3DS XL, we returned to the original only to find it difficult and awkward to use in comparison. The new size is an improvement in so many ways, including ergonomics and playability. The bigger screen makes 3D gaming less tiring, and offers a larger sweet spot for Nintendo's all-important gaming effect, while the curved edges simply fit your hands better. Competition remains tough, however. The Vita remains clearly ahead technically, while Nintendo banks on its strong in-house software team to bring in the customers. Pitch Resident Evil: Revelations against Uncharted, or Super Street Fighter IV 3D against Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, and it's clear to see on those big ole' portable screens which has the most potent hardware. But if you've been waiting out for a 3DS Lite before taking the plunge into 3D waters, then we can't help but recommend Nintendo's latest. We just hope the company can give its online content offering a shot in the arm soon, as it's really starting to age the hardware.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Downloaded Sega CD

I downloaded Popful Mail, and Shining Force CD, because they cost $100 each.  They would play in Fusion on PC.  Popful Mail was a great Sega CD game from Working Designs.

Robo Aleste is a lot cheaper, but I have MUSHA for Sega Genesis.  I found a DVD with my entire ROM collection on it.  Roms cost nothing and you save money on expensive videogames.  The hacker community knew our salaries were staying the same or going downward. There is always price gouging.

Owning the rom is better then seeing people go bankrupt on Youtube and having to sell their collection to pay off bank debt from the 3000 games he owns.   I have a 1500 ROM game collection that fits on a DL-DVD. Half of these ROMs are already on SDcards  Gamepark Cannoo and JXD handhelds.